The Gospel according to the Minor Prophets – Week 1

This Fall I have the privilege of teaching a Life Education class at Christ’s Covenant Church entitled The Gospel according to the Minor Prophets. My goal is to help people not only understand each of the Minor Prophets in their historical and literary context, but also in their redemptive-historical context. There are so many ways that the Minor Prophets reveal our fallen condition, our need for grace, and the hope that is found in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The first week was this past Sunday. I sought to introduce the class to the Minor Prophets and how we should read them. I attempted to answer the following questions: (1) Who were the prophets? (2) What is prophecy? (3) When were the prophets active? (4) What is the dominant theological pattern of the prophets? (5) How should we interpret the prophets. You can listen to the audio (Week 1 – Introduction) and follow along with the handout (Week 1 – Overview and Introduction (Handout).

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4 thoughts on “The Gospel according to the Minor Prophets – Week 1”

  1. Dr. Harmon,
    I wanted to take a moment and thank you for offering this class at CCC. My wife and I are really happy to be a part. This Friday we are leaving for the week for vaction so we will not be in attendence on Sunday but we will listen to it when it gets posted on here.

    One of the things that I hope to glean from this class is a better understanding of approaching the Scriptures more whole-istically with Christ as the center. Something that I have been struggling to understand is how modern Israel/Judaism fits in to the entire scheme of redemptive history since their rejection of Christ. I have never been a fan of Dispensational Theology’s understanding of the nation of Israel and am not willing to go as far as some Covenantal theologians of saying that God is totally done with Israel either, but, understanding that salvation has always been a matter of grace through faith helps, but again, I am not ready to do all the mental gymnastics that much of Covenantalism does on this issue as well as on baptism.

    Recently I have been accused by some friends of mine of being a believer in “replacement theology,” because of my ambivalance of the modern state of Israel, and my stress on God’s electing grace (at this time) and purposes on the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ. One person was going on about Israle so much recently that I told her that I refuse to worship at the Dispensational altar of Zionism, which quieted the room down considerably and some realized that they were idolizing those who historically crucified our Lord and said “Let his blood be on us and on our children” (Matthew 27:25).

    So, my question to you is, how does the modern state of Israel, or for that matter, maybe a better question is, how does modern Judaism fit in to a full blown biblical theology that is understandable and sane?

    Thanks,
    Bruce

  2. I’m glad you’re in the class, Bruce. I look forward to helping you see how the Minor Prophets point to Christ and our our need for the grace of God in the gospel.

    My short answer to your long question is that I do not believe that the modern political state of Israel plays a role in God’s redemptive plan. I am, however, convinced (based on Romans 9-11) that God is not done with ethnic Jews. I believe that God will do a work among the Jewish people to bring many Jews to faith in Christ in advance of Christ’s return. The only hope that Jews or Gentiles have is by trusting in Christ.

    As to the charge of replacement theology, it is true that for some dispensationalists anyone who does not believe in a sharp distinction between Israel and the church is automatically a replacement theology advocate. But there are plenty of people on the spectrum between classic dispensationalists and classic convenantalists who do not believe that the church replaces Israel. It is similar to the claim of some dispensationalists that if you are not in their camp you do not believe in interpreting Scripture literally. Everything rests on what is meant in these context by terms/phrases such as “replacement theology” and “literal.”

    Hope that helps.

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